Karzai Wants U.S. Troops Tried in Afghanistan for Koran Burning

Katie Pavlich

2/27/2012 8:06:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

Since Afghan President Karzai assumed power in 2004, many have questioned his loyalty and have pointed out his corrupt behavior. Now, after speaking with "jihadi leaders," about the admittedly inadvertent Koran burning by U.S. military troops in Afghanistan, Karzai wants them tried in his country.

Karzai, according to a BBC translation of his remarks made Sunday, told the Afghan people he was speaking to them after discussing the matter with “jihadi leaders,” “prominent scholars,” and Afghan elected officials, and that he spoke for the “pure sentiments” of the “Afghan nation” and the “Islamic world,” when he said: “We call on the US government to bring the perpetrators of the act to justice and put them on trial and punish them.”

At the same time Karzai was demanding the prosecution and punishment of U.S. troops involved in the Koran-burning incident, he conceded that the U.S. government had indicated that the Koran burning “was not deliberate.”

"We all know that regrettably some days ago an American soldier burnt our Holy Koran,” Karzai said, according to the BBC translation. “We condemn this vicious act in the strongest terms. The government and the people, scholars, tribal dignitaries, spiritual figures of Afghanistan, the educated people of our country all share the people's feelings... Our people's sensitiveness is right and is laudable.”

"The US government says that such act was carried out because of ignorance and lack of knowledge,” Karzai said. “This incident happened as a result of the ignorance of the US military officer about our vision about Islam and not recognizing the Koran. It was not deliberate."

"Today,” Karzai said, “we had a detailed session attended by jihadi leaders, prominent scholars, speakers of both houses--the lower house and the senate--the esteemed chief justice, vice presidents and other dignitaries and our government. We discussed the matter of the burning of the Holy Koran. Representing the Afghan nation and their pure sentiments, in fact the Islamic world, once again we call on the US government to bring the perpetrators of the act to justice and put them on trial and punish them."

Surely, our troops would be tried under Islam, not international law should the United States allow them to be prosecuted. It is now time for President Obama to decide to either stand up for our troops, or let them fall victim to an extreme religious overreaction to an inadvertent act of which Karzai admits wasn't done on purpose.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan is still burning:

A suicide car bomber struck early Monday at the gates of Jalalabad airport in eastern Afghanistan, killing nine people in a large blast, officials said.

The Taliban said the attack on the airport, which serves both civilian and international military aircraft, was revenge for the burning of Muslim holy books at an American military base.

The attacker drove up to the gates of the airport shortly after dawn and detonated his explosives in a "very strong" blast, said Nangarhar provincial police spokesman Hazrad Mohammad.

Among the dead were six civilians, two airport guards and one soldier, Mohammad said. Another six people were wounded, he said.